I don’t intend turning the Winedr blog – intended purely to complement Winedoctor proper – into a disciple of the PR machine, but this press release concerning the International Grenache Day was of interest for an obscure reason:
International Grenache Day Launches
Friday 24 September 2010
A day to celebrate Grenache with wine events around the world
3 September, 2010 – London — The diversity of Grenache will be on display as restaurants, wine associations, wine merchants and producers, and fans of great wine around the world celebrate the many complexities and virtues of the world’s most widely planted red grape on International Grenache Day (IGD) – Friday 24 September 2010.
The idea for this day-long event originated at the First International Grenache Symposium in June in the Southern Rhone. Over 250 top Grenache producers, journalists, and retailers from 23 countries pledged to demand that their local restaurants, retailers, friends and acquaintances make September 24th the day to celebrate Grenache each year. An international association was created to help promote “the grape you know, you just don’t know it”.
A Grenache “Primer” is being distributed as part of a viral email campaign to help train and educate restaurateurs, retailers, sommeliers, kitchen staff, and servers alike in the diverse styles of Grenache and their ideal serving and pairing options – all in an effort to inspire menus, tastings and by-the-glass or other promotions for IGD on 24 September.
Confirmed events will be taking place in the USA, UK, Spain, Australia, India, Brazil, China and Nigeria ranging from tastings to menu-pairings at restaurants; many Grenache enthusiasts will simply host dinner parties at their homes in celebration!
Grenache is a remarkable grape due to its broad appeal and versatility. From white to rosé to sweet fortified wines, as light varietal reds or complex blends, it has historically and most famously hidden in blends from regions like Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Priorat – making great wines greater but lacking the “brand recognition” of varietals such as Chardonnay or Pinot Noir.
Grenache remains mostly under-acknowledged in the world of wine — however, the potential for Grenache’s popularity is huge: with its juicy, luscious fruit, warm spice, balanced acidity and supple tannins. An aim of IGD is to create a wave of familiarity and interest so that one day people will walk into their favourite bar or restaurant and ask for a ‘Glass of Grenache’ as they do currently with Pinot Grigio or Merlot.
Grenache is a brilliant gastronomic wine, capable of being paired with virtually any dish (in any season and any climate), due to its broad spectrum of winemaking expressions – truly “the perfect partner.”
Adding a dash of fun to the day, the Australian delegates to the International Grenache Symposium, suggested that loud and colourful shirts be worn on IGD by restaurant/retail staff, attendees and wine makers to further amplify the event. Grenache Day activities around the world will be profiled with successful promotion ideas, sample menus, and triumphant food pairings on http://www.grenachesymposium.com/GrenacheNews/
This called to mind a comment made by Jacqueline Friedrich on her website – taking offence at Tim Atkin’s comments in the June 11, 2010 edition of Off-License News. His subject was what he called “the first ever conference dedicated to Grenache”, to which Jacqueline replies “Really?” As it happens Jacqueline recalls writing about “Les Journées de Grenache”, an international Grenache-themed meeting sponsored by Slow Food and held in Perpignan – back in 2001. More of a contender for the “first” crown, methinks!
I think Jacqueline has a very valid point here. Perhaps “First International Grenache Symposium” isn’t such an appropriate title after all? Although I suppose it has more caché than “Another International Grenache Symposium”.